The microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton and its dynamics play an important role in cell migration. Depletion of the microtubule-severing enzyme Fidgetin-like 2 (FL2), a regulator of MT dynamics at the leading edge of migrating cells, leads to faster and more efficient cell migration. Here we examine how siRNA knockdown of FL2 increases cell motility. Förster resonance energy transfer biosensor studies shows that FL2 knockdown decreases activation of the p21 Rho GTPase, RhoA, and its activator GEF-H1. Immunofluorescence studies reveal that GEF-H1 is sequestered by the increased MT density resulting from FL2 depletion. Activation of the Rho GTPase, Rac1, however, does not change after FL2 knockdown. Furthermore, FL2 depletion leads to an increase in focal adhesion kinase activation at the leading edge, as shown by immunofluorescence studies, but no change in actin dynamics, as shown by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. We believe these results expand our understanding of the role of MT dynamics in cell migration and offer new insights into RhoA and Rac1 regulation.
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